Supporting your organization's needs - Part Three
Whether you say it or not, we all want to be recognized for the hard work we are doing. The trick with recognition is it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. Just as every employee you have is different and unique, so is the way each one likes to be recognized. This, however, does not mean if you have a hundred employees, you need a hundred ways to recognize each for a well done job. The key is to have several avenues of recognition, increasing your odds of successfully recognizing your people.
Recognize in the moment
Probably the best or most productive employee recognition program seamlessly recognizes employees when something happens. If your employee does a great job with service recovery and makes a customer happy, recognize the employee right then and in front of the other staff. More often than not, managers focus on what went wrong and harp on their employees about the negative, forgetting to celebrate the positives. Many companies have started using cards, so they can write down what the employee did well and use that card to post the information on an internal communication board. Companies doing this well, also let employees recognize each other with these cards.
Employee of the month
There is a lot of talk about whether or not an employee of the month program really recognizes or motivates your employees. The truth is, it depends on how it is managed. If employees are selected merely because corporate says you have to have someone, then it just becomes a process. But if you have a true selection process, utilizing verifiable criteria, employees are less likely to believe someone is "just selected," creating a modicum of program value. These types of programs should be well-published and employees should understand what it takes to be employee of the month.
Today, most everyone is connected somehow on social media, including the popular applications Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. These platforms allow thousands of people to be connected and instantly communicate with each other. For recognition, these platforms are perfect; you can literally tell the world what a great job your employee did. Most companies have policies on what can and cannot be posted and employees should give you permission first. Many people are already posting stuff, so why not post good stuff about your team. This behavior also shows potential employees your company cares about its employees and is working to recognize and motivate them.
In today’s workforce, it is becoming harder and harder to find employees who are staying with a company for more than a few years. However, it does still happen. In every company, you can find individuals who have been with the company for five, ten or even longer years of service. These milestones should be celebrated; it doesn’t have to be a fancy formal party, but should be celebrated. Having a program to help celebrate these milestones with your employees is important. Employees spend a lot of time with your organization and often times they sacrifice personal time to ensure something happens the way it should. Awards ceremonies can be a great opportunity to tell employees you appreciate their hard work and sacrifice.
At the end of the day, employees what to feel like someone actually cares they came to work and did something. If you don’t care about your employees, they will not care about you or the company. Loyalty among employers and employees is gone and it does not take much for some employees to either jump ship or stop being a productive as they could be. Un-engaged employees cost companies in so many ways, and simply recognizing them could start real engagement and productive work groups. Recognition is simple and for some, it can be as simple as a hand shake and telling the employee he or she did a good job. By recognizing your employees, you will find they will be more productive and motivated to get the work done.